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Food & Drink The Best Way to Dispose of Your Cooking Oil? Solidify It

05:40  08 april  2022
05:40  08 april  2022 Source:   bonappetit.com

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It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get me to deep-fry at home. I feel a near-gravitational pull towards a pot of hot oil and the adjacent wire rack of hot, crispy morsels. When Bettina Makalintal wrote about an all-purpose batter that fries up impossibly crunchy and stays that way for hours, I used it to coat maitake mushrooms that very night. (And have you seen this Harissa-Honey Popcorn Chicken, which I’m plotting to recreate with cauliflower florets? Or these samosas?) In addition to the unparalleled texture and flavor that deep-frying delivers—I hate to break the news, but the oven or air-fryer really can’t come close—I also enjoy the set-up. I enjoy using my deep-fry thermometer and my tongs.

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But the part I could do without? The hot pot of oil that lingers on the stove. After leaving it to cool, I return it to the container from whence it came (that is, several days later, when I remember). I tackle the pot, which, despite my best sudsing efforts, is still greasy. When I’ve used that oil once or twice more, I chuck the whole container, which I would’ve otherwise recycled, into the trash with a pang of guilt and powerlessness. I feel bad about chucking a grease-filled plastic jug, but I’m not going to pour cups of oil directly into my trash bag or down the kitchen sink.

FryAway offers an elegant solution to the problem. Sprinkle the plant-based flakes over used cooking oil, then simply wait for it to transform into a blubbery brick that can be safely disposed of along with other household trash. It might look like magic, but it’s actually science. “The way it works is similar to the process in which margarine is made,” explains founder and CEO Laura Lady. FryAway is itself made of vegetable oil and, when it’s added to spent oil and heated, the cooking oil hydrogenates, turning a liquid into a solid. After the wobbly disc of oil slips out, you’re left with a nearly clean pot or pan.

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  The Best Way to Dispose of Your Cooking Oil? Solidify It © Provided by Bon Appétit

FryAway Cooking Oil Solidifier

$10.00, Amazon

Sure, it may not seem like a big deal to pour a smidge of oil down the drain every once in a while, but with millions of gallons being funneled into the sink every year, the consequences on our infrastructure and sanitation are potentially dire. Along with other waste, those oils glom into fatbergs, giant greasy masses that clog sewer systems and lead to overflows and contamination. “This action that feels small and insignificant can have disastrous effects for the environment and our water sources,” urges Lady. While fatbergs have received the most attention in the U.K., Lady predicts that it’s only a matter of time before they wreak havoc on the United States' aging infrastructure, with the EPA already estimating there are tens of thousands of sanitary sewer overflows every year.

When it comes to reducing waste, FryAway doesn’t offer a perfect solution. The solid oil can’t necessarily be composted (Lady recommends checking with your local municipality), so it’s likely to end up in a landfill anyway. That means you should try to reuse your fry oil (at least once, maybe more) and seek out a local oil recycling center. But when it does come time to get rid of your cooking fat, FryAway is still the lesser of two evils: When oil is poured back into a plastic bottle or jar and sent to a landfill, it will take centuries to decompose. On its own, however, vegetable oil takes 28 days to decompose, says Lady.

Coincidentally, that’s about the amount of time it takes for the smell of frying to dissipate from my apartment. Time for Halloumi fries!

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